Jennifer Lawrence Performer of the Year at Santa Barbara International Film Fest

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It was quite the event last night at the Arlington theater up State Street in Santa Barbara to fete Best Actress frontrunner, and Silver Linings Playbook star, Jennifer Lawrence.  The street was lined with young fans of Lawrence, pink cheeked young girls their pupils the shape of hearts, pictures of Lawrence held carefully in their hands as they waited to get a look at the real live Katniss.  My third year at the SBIFF I’ve never seen anything like this, it was a mob scene of tweens and teens girls madly, passionately in love with Ms. Lawrence. But they weren’t the only people there to get a look at her – plenty of men, young and old, plenty of women, young and old, and the heavy weights from the Weinstein Co. like producer Bruce Cohen, and director David O. Russell.

The Santa Barbara film fest is a success, I think, because of its director Roger Durling’s passion for film. He knows everything about film history and has a great appreciation for it in all ways. I’ll never forget being up at Telluride and seeing Roger waiting in line to see movies, not calling in his VIP card.   Durling clearly loved Silver Linings Playbook and one of the reasons for that was Lawrence.

I found my way into the theater and took one of the reserved seats for press up front. Jennifer Lawrence was outside smiling for photographers and fans. I wish I’d been able to see the screaming faces and tears but alas, I was already inside by then. Eventually, the Arlington filled with patrons until it was packed, even the balcony. The only thing missing was the 22 year-old Ms. Lawrence who eventually came walking in. In a crepe pantsuit and high heels, she strutted on in – charismatic, down to earth and, as director David O. Russell said about her she stops your heart when you first see her.

Lawrence took her place among us up front.  I’d met a fellow blogger, Linda, from upandcomers.net (on twitter as @frowninghour) who was a Lawrence, and Silver Linings diehard fan.  She’d scolded me a few times when I was trashmouthing the film at various stages.  She was sitting almost next to Lawrence.  Durling intro’d Lawrence by talking about her performance in the film, but also her versatility as such a young age.  When her tribute reel began it opened with clips from famous scenes of other Oscar winning or nominated comic actresses like Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night, Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey, Diane Keaton in Annie Hall and Cher in Moonstruck.  All of these actresses, it’s worth noting, were a good deal older than Lawrence when they won, the youngest of them being Lombard who was 28.

Though Lawrence does more serious work, she is really naturally funny and should do more comedy.  After the clip, Lawrence took the stage and was giggling, she said, because her best friend was there and was giggling at the early clips of Lawrence as a teen.  Because she’s been thrust into the spotlight and is winning awards so soon in her career it’s easy to forget how very young she really is but when you see her in person and particularly hear her interviewed you see how young, how impressionable she is.

Durling praised Lawrence quite a few times and each time Lawrence would say “thank you” softly.  He asked her if she’d done any theater. “No.  I’m sorry. I wish I could say I did but I didn’t.” When he asked her about any acting training she said “if we could have afforded lessons I would have gotten some.” And when he asked her about how she prepares for a role she says “I just show up without having read my lines.” She’s dead serious about all of it because it’s true. But it’s also kind of a cheat. She sort of makes it look like she’s just that good without really trying – but her work proves otherwise.  There’s no way, for instance, she didn’t prepare her lines for Winter’s Bone. I refuse to believe that’s true. It’s possible with Tiffany that’s how she worked but either way, it seemed like she was being too modest.

While watching her, as poised as she was, being herself completely without putting on airs, I was thinking – someday on some talk show she’s going to recall this time in her life and she’ll say “I had no idea what I was doing, no idea what I was saying.” It’s a lot for a girl of 22 to take in.  It is, I fear, a bit too much. I hope it isn’t.  She says she stays in her house a lot and that’s how she stays grounded.

I’m not sure Lawrence really understands what happens with her when the camera’s on.  I keep thinking, if she’s this good when she no idea how she got there, imagine how good she’ll be when she learns to really harness all of that talent.

After many clips and a very long long interview with the young actress it was time to go.  Director David O. Russell took to the stage to intro Lawrence and hand her yet another award as she thunders towards the Oscars.  Silver Linings is a film for people with mood disorders, as the Oscar narrative shifts away from the idea of it being a romantic comedy, which of course it is.  But people who suffer from bi-polar find they can relate to Silver Linings and if it offers them some relief, where’s the harm.

He said the editor of their film took one look at the dailies and said about Lawrence that she’d been “kissed by angels.”   The crowd erupted in loving applause as Lawrence took a bow. Eventually the lights came back up and it was time for everyone to go home.  Back in Los Angeles the DGA was announcing, predictably, that Ben Affleck just won the DGA.  Awards season always feels fun until at some point it doesn’t anymore.  The futility begins to take over and you wonder what it all means, if it means anything at all, and what the hell are you doing paying so much attention to any of it.

But outside on the sidewalk there were 13 year old girls wearing tiaras in honor of Lawrence. “That was SO worth it,” one of them said. “Oh my god, oh my god,” another one said.  Jennifer Lawrence might have been just doing her job last night, but in a smaller way she was making the dreams of young girls come true. No, not everyone can go to New York and get spotted instantly to become a star. I’m sure many girls go to sleep at night dreaming of just that very thing happening. But as we all know it is only partly a matter of talent, so much is a matter of genetics. But right now, at 13, these girls don’t have to know that – all that they care about is seeing a face kissed by angels.

Jennifer Lawrence and Her Proud Parents

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Best Actress: The Veterans and the Rising Stars

58 Comments

  1. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha, well-written piece. She is definetely talented…also quite versatile. I only wish at some point in her life she will get some form of training/education. She cannot just stay as a charming young and pretty girl. At some point she will need to be more than that….
    I also hope she will stay sane, will not turn to be ” once- a young talented actreess , w a troubled young woman”. Hopefully she has smart people around her to manage her and her career…

  2. Damian
    February 3, 2013

    Linda’s (@frowninghour)site is upandcomers.net not upancoming.net…

  3. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Thanks Damian!

  4. February 3, 2013

    I like J Law so muceh.
    She´s very talented, smart, serious young actress.
    But I can´t say she really deserves win for this movie. I really thing she deserves much moer for The Hunger games.
    But, if not Lawrence, who?
    Watts is brilliant and my first choice, but the script of The Impossible vanishes her at sencond half. And everyone says she will be a lock next year playing Princess Diana.
    Chastain? Amost a suppoting role? Good actress, but not for win now.
    That unbearable child from that unbearable movie BOTSW? She didn´t deserve even be nominated.
    So Riva… She deserves, really. Her performance deserves. But, she[s really the dark horse in the race. And she´s french… Lorem and Benigni, from Italy. Cotillard and Riva(?) from France? Who knows… Maybe…

    The only category I have doubts!

  5. Jade Fox
    February 3, 2013

    I too want great things for Jennifer, but my concern is not her becoming a troubled actress. My concern is her PR people trying too hard to shape her into the next America’s Sweetheart. I mean she’s already downplaying her ambition.

    For those who don’t know what I’m talking about Jennifer Lawrence initially didn’t get the part of The Winter’s Bone because producers thought she was too pretty. She didn’t let that rejection stop her from getting on a red eye flight to New York to change their minds and showed up to a meeting looking far from pretty and got the part. And she had to do crappy commercials and a forgettable TV show before she started doing indies like The Burning Plain, or The Poker House. She may have been discovered in New York but it wasn’t instant fame. She had to work for it.

    When she told that story nearly three years ago I loved it. It was nice to hear a young actress not being afraid to admit to going after what she knew was a great part and not taking no for an answer. That’s a person who has a dedication to her career and her craft. But I fear as she gets more mainstream that side of her will be watered down by her PR people in favor of her having to act like she will be your BFF. Because that’s less threatening I guess than a young woman showing ambition for something other than the usual Princess bullshit.

  6. Reno
    February 3, 2013

    Lol (or lull), power outage at Super Bowl 47. So wassup? Oh Jennifer Lawrence. So far for me in best actress:

    1. Jennifer Lawrence
    2. Naomi Watts
    3. Jessica Chastain

    Next weekend I might be able to see Amour and then I have to look for a BOTSW video, should have watched in on the plane when I had the chance.

  7. Hal
    February 3, 2013

    If the movie is based on a book I usually read the book first then watch the movie. I still haven’t read Silver Lining Playbook but planning to do soon. I love Jennifer Lawrence, I think she is a good actress and has the potential of being a great one but from the clips that I’ve seen I think her performance is overrated. It’s sad what has happened in the race where the merit, the accolades goes to the less deserving simply because Harvey Weinstein is a master at what he does. I hope the Oscar goes to Emmanuelle Riva or Jessica Chastain. I didn’t watch ZD30 and probably won’t but I’ve seen enough of Chastain in the last couple of years to know the she is probably the best god damn actress that emerged recently. I can’t believe that many people don’t see that.

  8. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Hal,

    Again you make the same mistake that many others do. Yes Jessica Chastain is a very talented, and trained, versatile actress. But this award is not supposed to be for her career so far. It should be about her performance in this specific movie.. So without seeing tis movie you or someone else sholdnt just say she will win because she was great in other movies. Of course the same goes for J.Lawrence. Just being good at the Hunger Games shouldnt mean she should automatically win for SLP….

  9. Film Fatale
    February 3, 2013

    I agree with Hal. Chastain is the Juilliard thoroughbred, meticulous and trained and with the complete skill set package.

    Jennifer Lawrence is … Jennifer Lawrence. Not a good thing in my book and it’s going to be a very sad year at the Oscars when this green, badly in need of polish young star (who was undeniably great in Winter’s Bone) gets handed the trophy over vastly more capable Chastain, Riva (!), Watts and even, in my view, Wallis, who at least drove her picture in every scene.

    Travesty waiting to happen. She was very good in SLP but somewhere along the way the Oscars have stopped being about awarding excellence and turned into a transparent popularity machine on the order of the People’s Choice Awards — and Lawrence will benefit from this more than any other nominee in history.

  10. Manny
    February 3, 2013

    I couldn’t disagree with you more Film Fatale. Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant in SLP. Chastain was okay in ZD30 (nothing remarkable about her performance), Riva was good in Amour, but Julie Christie did it better in Away From Her. The Academy would do itself a great disservice if they did not reward Lawrence for her breath taking performance.

  11. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    Very nice article. Kissed by angels is a good description.
    I don’t know where this fetish for “training” came from. Maybe it echoes the current fetish with credentialism. But looking it up Sean Penn didn’t go to acting school. Or Johnny Depp. Or Amy Adams. Or Jack Nicholson. Or Gordan Levitt. Or DiCarprio. And there are legions more. Lawrence didn’t just show up. She appeared on TV, particularly three seasons of the Bill Engvall show. Acting day after day was an excellent chance to develop her instincts.
    As to her method, she will read the script and use her imagination. She is very observational, incorporating mannerisms and dialects. She usually doesn’t memorize her lines the night before, but she definitely thinks about the role and how to approach it. She downplays what she does but it was evident in early interviews that she puts a lot of thought behind her performances.
    Hope she wins. Well deserved.

  12. The Zach
    February 3, 2013

    “All of these actresses, it’s worth noting, were a good deal older than Lawrence when they won, the youngest of them being Lombard who was 28.”

    Lombard never won an Oscar.

  13. helios
    February 3, 2013

    ^ Jenniferlawrencefanclub.com

    She is uneducated and proud of it.

  14. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    Btw I laugh at people trying to say Lawrence just acts like herself. You couldn’t get more different than the charactersshe played simultaneously in Winter’s Bone and the Bill Engvall show. Like Crazy. Hunger Games. SLP. Very diverse set of characters. I think people just have trouble seeing her “acting”, which is actuallly an extraordinary talent.
    People cling to the training argument because Lawrence’s level of talent is a shock to the system. Too bad. The hipster wannabes are always he last to admit it.

  15. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Winston,
    Training or education does not only mean acting training.. She is not even high school grad and seems to be proud of that. Yes it may work for now but trus me having an education/ any form of training doesnt hurt anyone. Look at Jodie Foster. She started very young, was/ still is very talented but also finished Yale and got her degree… It is not directly related to her acting but then whenever she opens her mouth, she has soemthng to say…Jennifer Lawrence is talented. No doubt for that. But imagine what else she could add to her talen with some education and training…

  16. James
    February 3, 2013

    I just wish she could win for a role that didn’t feel so supporting. She’s talented, but I don’t feel like this would be a deserving win. I rather she win down the line and not so early. Of course I have to factor in that I wasn’t a big fan of SLP and that between Hunger Games and this, she feels overexposed or I have just seen too much of her. Hollywood is trying to make the next “it” girl and I still want her to dabble in independent film. Yes I know Silver Linings is that, but it comes across as fairly Hollywood.

  17. helios
    February 3, 2013

    Hope she has a good team of bodyguards protecting her from creeps like Winston.

  18. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    @Aragon-She graduated two years early with a 3.9 gpa. And this idea that you learn something unique in acting school is nonsense. Acting isn’t rocket science. Seems to me that actually acting is very good training too. So Jack Nicholson could have been so much better if he went to Julliard? I’m sure acting school helps certain people, but if you have the talent you have it, and if you don’t you don’t. It’s all smacks of shallow credentialism that people take as gospel today.

  19. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha,

    Did you hand out Awards Daily business cards to those teenager fans in Santa Barbara???. Somehow they found this site.. God helps all of us for the next 3 weeks!

  20. helios
    February 3, 2013

    Holy Lawrence! The kind of details this person knows or pretends to know is scaring the crap out of me. I’m gonna call the cops.

  21. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    @Helios-Why because I’m a fan? As opposed to an embittereed hater?
    The difference between you and me apparently is that talent doesn’t threaten me. I’ve accomplished enough in my own life to appreciate the gifts of others without envy. I appreciate true talent. I was a huge fan of Michael Jordan too.

  22. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Helios,

    Be careful. Apparently You are dealing with a very important person;) and how dare you are threatened by talent??? ;))

    All is good but i didnt get the sudden “M.Jordan” reference!!! Did i miss something? Was he supposed to win an Oscar too or something???

  23. February 3, 2013

    She’s so young and so good and so acclaimed ALREADY AND so beautiful, I share Sasha’s worry for her. I do.

    And as for her way with the lines…that’s the way Tilda Swinton does it, too.

  24. Jade Fox
    February 3, 2013

    Winston,

    I don’t think anyone here is threatened by Jennifer’s talent. Hell most here knows she has talent but she can be better. Nothing wrong with suggesting that she hones her skills and just ignore the hype she’s getting right now. Hollywood wants an young attractive It Girl. But Jennifer IMO is better than that. She can be a great actress in the long run and I hope her team realizes that and make sure they don’t forget about the acting while promoting her.

  25. PaulH
    February 3, 2013

    Film Fatale, this is an intervention …

  26. Backson
    February 3, 2013

    Aragorn…you just said that Jlaw didn’t graduate from high school and Winston just proved you wrong. Clearly, you don’t know what your talking about.

    I’m rooting for Lawrence but I have no problem with people saying she shouldn’t win (because I also love Riva and Chastain and would be happy if either them won honestly.) I just don’t like how people use Lawrence’s age or lack of education or the way she speaks against her. It should just be about the performance. The Oscars aren’t a “Lifetime Achievement” Award. I don’t think Lawrence should have to “wait” before she gets an Oscar. If she’s good right now, then she should win right now.

    Some of the commenters on this site not only bash Lawrence, but they also bash her fans.

  27. February 3, 2013

    It was really nice to meet you, Sasha, and thanks for the shout-out! The funny thing is, we are not even really on opposite teams this year – Lincoln is far and away my favorite movie of 2012. I just like rooting for SLP because it seems to be so unfairly dismissed by the majority of Oscar bloggers. But like I told you, I’m actually okay with Jennifer Lawrence not winning this year. I mean the gloating from certain facets of the internet if she doesn’t win will be insufferable but it’ll be fine in the end. She doesn’t need it and it would probably end up hurting her career more than it helps. She’ll have so many more opportunities to win.

  28. KT
    February 3, 2013

    For better or worse, Jessica Chastain has recognized in a London interview this weekend the “politics” of the Oscar race. I think she realizes that the film is “too hot” for her to have the best chance to win. Plus, she can’t fully campaign as she’s performing in The Heiress on Broadway 8 times a week. It’s amazing how she even had time to get out to LA for the Critics Choice Awards, Globes, and SAGs.

    I’m going to be upset with the result of Best Actress––I know it. How the Academy will probably not reward this serious, classically-trained actress with enormous range and versatility over the last two years, with great box office success, with a great story of spending “years on the sidelines,” playing an inspiring real-life heroine who the world can never honor for getting Bin Laden, is BEYOND ME!! Chastain’s resume surpasses many established film stars—she has already been in two bona-fide classics (Tree of Life, Zero Dark Thirty) and is absolutely luminous on screen. It’s aggravating that the ZDT controversy will cost her key votes, as surely some Academy members will see a vote for this movie, even for an actress, as endorsing torture. Too bad the work, preparation, and acting craft cannot speak for itself. Also–I was a bit disappointed in Jennifer Lawrence when she didn’t clap for Chastain winning the Globe (Go check the video!). Chastain has always been gracious–just look at how willing she is to speak with fans after her play!!

    Watch this 1-hour SAG interview if you want to learn more about what Chastain did for ZDT, the small details: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfj3OIqnpMI

  29. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Backson,

    I just reported what i heard from her on a talk show. She herself said that she had to quit school without finishing. Oh well. Probably she took the exams or smething. I dont care. Congrats to her for getting a high school diploma!!! Regardless of her high school accomplishment (!) she definetely lacks education in general. Ya she is talented ( did i deny that?) she is good ( did i say she doesnt deserve to win?) No and no. But she needs education and good people around her so she can stand by herself. Look around. There are many once-talented pretty girls. And where are they now??. Looks and talent are not enough. You need to build upon them……

  30. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    @Aragorn-I’m just echoing the opinion of people who work in the industry. Of course far be it from me to disagree with the poorly informed drivel of a message board pseudo-hipster. Was the Michael Jordan reference really so far over your head? Pity. How about if I tell you that seeing Lawrence for the first time was like seeing Daniel Day-Lewis in the Unbearable Lightness of Being? Better? Anyway maybe you guys should form a support group until all this Lawrence madness ends? It will be a very long session. LOL!
    But I’m sorry for hurting your tender feelings. You are all winners in my book. I swear.

  31. christiannnw
    February 3, 2013

    I just have to chime in on this post (as I must do in every Jennifer Lawrence post, hah)! After watching “Winter’s Bone” last week for the first time in a little over a year, I’ve shifted my attitude towards a Jennifer Lawrence win. She’s has a remarkably innate talent for summoning the emotional turmoil of the women she portrays, a quality that is evident in her Tiffany from “Silver Linings Playbook”. But the plot of Silver Linings barely hinges on Tiffany, unlike Ree Dolly from “Winter’s Bone”, whose constant centrality to that film’s story enabled Lawrence to project such a disarming blend of unassailable resolve and naive vulnerability that completely floored me.

    I do believe Lawrence, given the inherent constraints of her character, fleshed Tiffany out beyond the blow-up doll figure most actresses would have played with contentment, but it’s far from exceptionally excellent work (by her own standards). And while I would never suggest Lawrence SHOULD attend acting classes to refine her craft, I do wish she wouldn’t rush her own personal growth in exchange for celebrity. At 22, this Harvey Weinstein treatment can’t do her any favors.

  32. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Ohhh Linda is my new favorite around here! Voice of wisdom:) thanks

  33. Dian
    February 3, 2013

    Thank you Winston! and very well said.

    Jennifer Lawrence may have not attended acting school but that kid knows her craft.

    She just not appear out of no where she has been working at what she does and she does it really good..I dare say even better that some of the actresses that had attend acting school.

  34. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Winston,
    Oh well. My last response to you as i have better things to do…thank you for calling me “pseudo-hipster”. You almost got it right. In real world, i mean outside this site, i have Ph.D. After my name…so you got the “P” and “h” parts right with pseudo hipster. You should come up with something for D too. Then i can use it instead of Ph.D. I only assume you dont even know what Ph.D. stands for but thats ok…i wouldnt expect anything more anyway…and thank you for making me laugh this late at night. Oh yeah. DDL and J.Lawrence. Good comparison.. I really hope you can see them together as winners and then go n with your life….

  35. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    Lawrence has been working for a while. She didn’t just show up at someone’s doorstep and get cast in a major picture out if no where.
    With that said I’m out. Nice article.

  36. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    Aragorn-Happy for your phd. Hopefully you found a job afterward. Good luck. Bye.

  37. PaulH
    February 3, 2013

    FilmFatale, how in the world we live in, or even Fringe’s alternate universe, can you actually sit there and have the unmitigated gall to write that the Oscars, who in two of the last 3 years have given their best picture TO THE TWO LEAST SEEN BEST PICTURE WINNERS, BOXOFFICE-WISE, IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN FILM, that utterly shafted The Hunger Games, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises alone this past year, to their unashamed bias against blockbusters that people and critics love, to say nothing of Annie fucking Hall over Star Wars, that these Oscars have turned into the people s choice awards? Just because Jennifer Lawrence is nominated?

    Goddamn. I want what you’re smokin’. And we haven’t even gotten into No Country for Old Men and its pennies on the dollar boxoffice. If ANYTHING, the Oscars have bent over backwards to kowtow and kiss ass to the hardcore art house indie movie crowd *coughBeastsoftheSouthernWildcough*. You better pray Lawrence loses February 24 or there will be an I told you so marathon that’ll make SyFys 2-day Twilight Zone feat seem like a nanosecond

  38. Jade Fox
    February 3, 2013

    Sorry Paul H but you’re “It’s not popular so it must suck” attitude is no better than the people who won’t see any mainstream film. As I said in another thread, both attitudes are two sides of the same pompous, pretentious coin.

    And I say this as someone who loved The Avengers, TDKR, and The Hunger Games.

    And I don’t get your dig at No Country For Old Men. For a movie of its type it did very well at the box office. 171 million worldwide is very good for a movie that reportedly had a 25 million dollar production budget.

  39. PaulH
    February 3, 2013

    Jade, I thought Transformers 2 was an abortion of a movie; a shitstain, a crime against cinematic humanity, it was so bad. I’m not a total lemming when it comes to boxoffice stuff. There needs to be also critical approval as well as moviegoer closing-ranks-behind it. That attitude will never change. Avatar, Inception, and the Big Three of 2012 ticked off both boxes. The Hurt Locker, The Artist, and countless blockbusters before them didn’t. It seems folks just think I want BP to have nothing but money-making mints. Not so. :)

  40. PJ
    February 3, 2013

    I didn’t know a beautiful and talent 22 year old woman would cause the internet to have such a meltdown.

  41. gbocampo
    February 3, 2013

    I honestly think, despite the doubters, that Lawrence gave the best performance among the nominees. It is just the kind of performance that wins an Oscar. It’s flashy yet subtle, showy but soulful during its quietest moments. Riva benefited more from the characterization of Haneke same issue with Naomi Watts who played a Tsunami victim. Wallis was able to hold her ground throughout the film. Jessica Chastain, from my second viewing, is more impressive than I ever thought.

  42. Pierre de Plume
    February 3, 2013

    Lawrence is young, charismatic, grounded, talented . . . and I’m not going to worry about her, question her work methods or dispense any advice. Besides, she seems to have a good relationship with her parents.

    In any case, I think Riva gives the most worthy performance, and a great portion of it involves the nature of the role she plays as compared with Jaw’s in SLP. I think Riva could win but it’ll be difficult to counter the tidal wave that’s happening for JLaw.

  43. kasper
    February 3, 2013

    PaulH,

    Man you’re something alright, repetitive is just one of them.

    I don’t know about you, but I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild in a multiplex in a mall in suburbia, the same multiplex in the same mall in the same suburbia I watched Lincoln in a packed house over a month after its release. But I’m guessing you haven’t seen the movies you think are less superior to the blockbuster just because they haven’t made the money that Avengers, or Dark Knight, or Hunger Games have made should not deny those films the accolades they receive. Anyway, the cost to profit ratio of Beasts constitutes a huge hit. Have you seen these movies that you have an irrational aversion to just because they’re not huge blockbusters? I’m guessing by your constant posts that you haven’t, yet you insist that they don’t belong in a conversation because they don’t have huge studio machinery behind them or they underpreformed? I mean my god, do you really believe No Country for Old Men is not a great American movie because it didn’t make hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. If it did, then would your perception of its quality and its winning Best Picture change? Do you hate Citizen Kane because it didn’t fare well at the box office during its initial release? Vertigo? And no one is buying your argument that the Academy bends over backwards to kiss the ass of the “hardcore art house indie movie crowd.” Many great movies never even make a million dollars in the US and they’re so far away from the Oscar conversation, but it doesn’t necessarily make them less of a movie. It’s fine if you don’t want to see certain movies because they’re not “mainstream enough;” that’s the movie-watching habit of most people. That’s an innocent type of ignorance, the type that is shared by most people I know and love. But to constantly campaign against movies that don’t have juggernaut corporate juices just shows you inhabit the worst type of ignorance. Your comments here make you sound like the bully who feigns victim stance. I don’t really have a huge investment in the Best Actress race, but you know what I’d be happy if Emmanuelle Riva could win, not because it speaks to the “arthouse sensibilities” (I actually find Haneke to be a tad overrated), but because she’d have HUGE hurdles to jump in regards to age (& supposed beauty/babe factor) and language, and complexity, and yes box-office performance. I shouldn’t even respond to your comments here because to rephrase Woody Allen quoting Groucho Marx, in one of the MOST deserved Best Picture winners EVER, I don’t want to belong to a forum that allows someone like you as a member.

  44. Jade Fox
    February 3, 2013

    If that’s the case, why are you ragging on Beasts of the Southern Wild for not having box office? Why care if a movie “checks certain boxes?” Critics loved Beasts of the Southern Wild. That movie and Amour getting Oscar love over well received blockbusters is not some huge crime here. It’s ultimately supposed to be about the best work. Box office should not be a factor anyway.

    And so many of the indie movies out today aren’t huge box office hits because it’s hard for them to get into many theaters. The studios that produce and distribute them don’t have the dollars to compete with the blockbusters of major studios. That counts double if there aren’t any familiar faces starring in the movie.

    And this last part is in keeping with this thread topic because I don’t know if you’re a Jennifer Lawrence fan, but Jennifer got noticed first by that indie arthouse crowd you hate. The Winter’s Bone was her true breakthrough, not the Hunger Games because while TWB only made 6 million dollars at the Box office, it was seen by the right people. The same people who thought she would be good enough to play Katniss. So yeah the indie arthouse circuit can eventually make an actress popular.

  45. PaulH
    February 3, 2013

    I happen to think Citizen Kane is the best American movie ever made. I saw Moonrise Kingdom and IMO was hosed out of a BP mention. I wanted to see a original screenplay nomination for Safety Not Guaranteed. I’m not all about the blockbusters. Kasper, we’re just gonna have to agree to disagree on the merits of Annie Hall as a BP winner in the year at the expense of the most popular film of its day.

    it doesn’t matter, Jade, if people don’t concur with my belief the Academy stacks the deck in favor of indie films to get showered with oscars, the proof is in the 2009 and 2011 choices for Best Picture. I’m just the messenger. Adjusted for inflation, The Hurt Locker and The Artist are 1-2 on the all-time lowest boxoffice for a Best Picture winner. There must’ve been a reason why both films bombed. Because even though the critics loved them, the general population didn’t.

    And Kasper, please don’t feel that you shouldn’t respond to a comment I make. That’s what forums like these are about. I’m no bully; its just I get passionate sometimes and say what I feel from my heart.

  46. Jade Fox
    February 3, 2013

    Okay Paul, now you’re being weird and not making sense. You called The Artist a bomb but it made only one million less than Moonrise Kingdom at the US boxoffice. So why rag on one movie for it’s so called BO failure and praise another that only made slightly more? Why insist on your criteria if you’re not going to apply it fairly across the board?

    Why not just do what the rest of the people here on AD do and just root for the movies you like to get awards and not give a shit about the box office?

  47. Crystal Clear
    February 3, 2013

    Let me share a thought about Jennifer Lawrence. I wouldn’t dare to question her talent because she’s a natural. Her hype, though, is mostly due to her very good work in The Hunger Games. For many of her fan(boy)s, she’s just Katniss. A very good one, but a Katniss. Of course, critics loved her in it and it wasn’t exactly an Oscar-baity movie, so kudos to her. My point is: every year is different from the years before and yet the fact she was nominated for her outstanding performance in a real gem like Winter’s bone and didn’t win but was nominated and might win for her performance in a movie like SLP, just feels out of tune. She has plenty to offer, let’s give her a chance to shine for real again, like she already did two years ago.

    Fitting perfectly in a movie thanks to a brilliant performance is fundamental. But doing it in a movie like SLP is not the same as doing it in a movie like Amour. And I don’t mean easier, that’s not the point. But since the one who wins makes history, worthiness becomes a far more complex concept. At least in my humble opinion!

    Worthiness aside, I find it hard to believe SLP’ll end up empty-handed after Oscar night. This, and Harvey Weinstein, are the two reasons why Lawrence is still the safest bet.

  48. Candice
    February 4, 2013

    People are acting like Jennifer Lawrence got lucky out of nowhere but that’s the biggest lie ever. The girl has been working since she was 14. She started doing commercials and she had to do guest appearances in small television shows. Then she got her first independent film which was The Burning Plain and she won the Venice Film Festival Award for best young actress for her performance in the film. Then she did The Poker House and won the Los Angeles Film Festival Award for best actress. That’s how she got on the circuit and started getting noticed by people. She then auditioned for Winter’s Bone and had to fight for that role because she was being sidelined. After she got that role, she recieved her first Oscar nomination for best actress and the rest is history. Hunger Games definitely put her on the map but the girl has been auditioning, fighting, and screening for movies for years.

  49. Selma
    February 4, 2013

    I can’t understand why when people discuss the Best Actress race they always compare Chastain to Lawrence. I’m not a fan of either but I do admire both of their work, Chastain’s a bit more but then again she’s older and knows a bit more about everything compared to Lawrence.

    In my humble opinion, none of these lovely ladies should win. My heart broke in ten pieces when I saw Emmanuelle Riva in Amour. And even Marion Cotillard was miles better than Chastain and Lawrence. I can see Riva winning at the BAFTAs and hopefully and the Oscars too.

    I have to agree that winning an Oscar now will hurt Lawrence’s career but I don’t understand why people are concerned for her; like her being the next Anna Paquin.

    I do see why not having an education will hurt you. I guess she’s approached acting this way since she started and she’s doing all right, I would say.

    Lawrence will probably win. I don’t think she’s that kind of girl to go down hill from that moment. The only problem is that as of right now she’s too overexposed and people seem to know everything about her and where her career is headed, which is sad.

    Hopefully the young lady will stay in this career forever, I like her personality and I’ve seen interviews with her and while some people think she’s serious, she’s obviously sarcastic. Like the comment about her uneven breasts. That made the Internet crazy while all I saw was a joke. Don’t see why you have to be serious all the time in this industry.

    Oh well, with that written, I hope Riva wins but I won’t be surprised if Lawrence or Chastain wins.

    Stop being so condescending towards Lawrence. She’ll do fine without an education but please stop comparing her to Streep or DDL. People are putting her on a way too high of a pedistal and it’s not fair to her or the people she’s being compared to.

    Streep and DDL are a class of their own.

  50. The J Viewer
    February 4, 2013

    Congratulations to Ms. Lawrence. [Wondering what could have been had she been unavailable a la Mr. Gatsby xD]

    She’s lovely and talented. I have to see Bat. . . er sorry I mean, The Hunger Games yet. That said, I believe we are going to see more of her outside those upcoming, surefire big-name franchises as well.

    Therefore, my heart is gladdened. : )

    PS: David O. Russell post Linings sure looks, strategically, like a college professor himself; good for him and this brand new image. (I believe they’ve been up to something from day one, but that doesn’t matter; good for him)

  51. mse
    February 4, 2013

    I’m getting enough of this crazy talk that winning an Oscar might hurt Lawrence’s career. Other actresses may not usually have been this young when they won, but other actresses didn’t get their second nominations by the age of 22 either. Winning an Oscar at such a young age won’t hurt Lawrence’s career. Being thrust into the spotlight at such a young age WILL NOT hurt Lawrence’s career. What WILL hurt is people repeating or at least indicating that she doesn’t deserve such accomplishments. Which is again, crazy talk. She might not have been in the industry for a long time, but she got recognition from the very first feature film she starred in. And there are a lot of respected actors who didn’t get any acting training, so I don’t get it why people keep rubbing that in her face.

    Yes, she is 22 and she acts like one. But she is clearly self-assured enough to find her way in this business just fine. I’ll be more than happy if the Academy decides to honor Riva for her brilliant work in Amour, but Lawrence does deserve that statue as well. As do pretty much all the other nominees.

  52. Evelyn Garver
    February 4, 2013

    I must agree with earlier comments by Aragorn. Jennifer Lawrence[and most other young people] would benefit from a real education. She is lovely and very talented and so are Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman, Emma Watson,etc. It is not merely about acting lessons. It’s about knowing something of the world outside of show business. It’s about being able to speak on your feet. It’s about having a perspective that all of this success, however amazing, is rather small in the scope of human history and experience. Maybe she could enroll at the great College of William and Mary. My daughter would be thrilled to see her there.

  53. Film Fatale
    February 4, 2013

    @Manny

    “Chastain was okay in ZD30 (nothing remarkable about her performance”

    Right, based on…. what exactly?

    According to the dozen plus Best Actress awards she has won this season — you do realize she is the most decorated winner of the nominees, right?

  54. Film Fatale
    February 4, 2013

    Paul H, feel free to “intervene” with me as you like, but that won’t change the fact that “Tiffany” is a woefully underwritten fantasy dreamgirl concotion without an agenda of her own; that she exists to heal a man and shake her ass while talking explicitly about fucking.

    Yep, let’s award that and the “fresh, spunky, spontaneous, ungarded, ‘instinctual,’ unpolished and oh-so-charming” star (rather than actress) who put on the tight spandex. She admitted to Roger Durling that she never memorizes her lines until the morning of the shoot. THAT is way, way too much for me to take — perhaps I’m a bit of a purist and expect some kind of technique or seriousness of approach in a “BEST” Actress winner.

    It’s a joke all the way around.

  55. mse
    February 4, 2013

    @Film Fatale: You do realize that you just contradicted yourself there? You can’t justify Chastain’s performance in ZDT by the number of awards she won and diss Lawrence’s performance in SLP in the same breath. She won pretty much just as much awards for that role as Chastain did for Maya.

  56. zotje
    February 5, 2013

    I don’t get the way some people seem to revere “classical training”.

    Lawrence was 21 when she filmed SLP, which is roughly the time people normally graduate. So you’re telling me that Lawrence shouldn’t have acted 3 years in a TV show, shouldn’t have acted in movies like The Poker House, Winter’s Bone and SLP, but should have instead finished high school normally and then gone to Juliard, and it would have made her a better actress?

    I’m not saying she is the best actress in the world or anything, i’m saying that she has a huge amount of raw talent, and that she is still developing her skills. Whether she will actually reach her full potential is something we can only wait and see.

    Also, these notions that she needs education in general is kind of beside the point. Who cares if she would be the dumbest person on the planet as long as she is good at her actual job. You think of the 2 men collecting your garbage, the one with the MIT doctorate is doing a better job of it than the high school dropout?

    I also find it funny that these notions are somehow only relevant to Lawrence. Would you call Joaquin Phoenix the pinnacle of education and refinement? No one seems to think that makes him a bad actor though.

  57. albanyskye
    April 27, 2014

    I am reading this article and accompanying comments now, some time out. The comments are on age, PR, training and talent. Jennifer Lawrence IS a movie star. She lights up the screen and has a track record to prove. Awards are over-rated, but allow opportunities for people and films. There are so many aspects to the industry and one that has not been mentioned in the comments: Jennifer is a commodity and she’s smart enough to know this. Behind all of this she is just a normal, if not goofy, person and she wants to live a real life and I think she wants her acting to be real. This actually keeps it simple, which can be hard for others who like to think too much. She learns from every experience she has and time will tell on how she will evolve. I was at SBIFF the night she was there and it was an extraordinary event because of the energy from Everyone. I mean e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e was lit up like the marquee in front of the theatre, especially the wonderful and star-struck Roger Durling, the soulful David O Russell and the funny and electrifying Jennifer Lawrence.

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